The 28th ordinary summit of the African Union is underway in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, where leaders are expected to elect the new commission chairperson to replace outgoing leader Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Five candidates are in the running to replace Dlamini-Zuma, a former South African minister and first female AU leader.
The candidates in the race are: Kenya’s foreign minister Amina Mohamed, who is representing the East African region; Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye, special UN envoy for Central Africa; Botswana’s foreign minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi; Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat and Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister Agapito Mba Mokuy.
Both Mokuy and Dr Venson Moitoi competed for the post last July alongside Ugandan candidate Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe but none won an outright majority, leading to the current re-run.
Meanwhile, during the summit, Morocco could return to the African Union after more than a three decade absence from the continental body. The request to rejoin made by the North African country is expected to be deliberated by member states.
This year’s summit is being held under the theme: ‘Harnessing Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth’.